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The Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer is, to some, just words that must be uttered during ceremonies and

those times when new sergeants earn their stripes. To others, there is no higher thought. These Soldiers live their time while in uniform trying their best to uphold everything written in those three paragraphs. Some choose what those words mean; others make little effort in deciding but let others decide for them. When I entered the service of my country 11 years ago, I had no clue that such a creed existed. My family included wartime veterans; They All served honorably and passed down many stories of both tragic and valorous deeds. They all know and have told me about the creed. .It started on the fourth floor of Building 4 at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1973 with a plain white sheet of paper and three letters; N-C-O. From there begins the history of the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer. The Creed has been around for many years in different forms and fashions. Sergeants can recall reading the Creed on the day they were first inducted into the NCO Corps. Most of us have a copy hanging on our wall in our office, our work place, or at our home. Some have special versions etched into metal on a wooden plaque, or printed in fine calligraphy. One Sergeant Major of the Army could pick up and recite the Creed from any place selected.1 But take a quick glance at any Creed and you will notice the absence of the author's name at the bottom. Where the Creed originated from has questioned many. To date, there are few historical collections relating to the noncommissioned officer. In the foreword of one of the premier studies of the NCO, Guardians of the Republic: a History of the

Noncommissioned Officer Corps of the U.S. Army, Russell F. Weigley pointed out that "Until the publication of this book, the American noncommissioned officers who have provided the backbone of our army have never been appropriately studied by military historians.The Creed has existed in different

versions for a number of years. Long into their careers, sergeants remember reciting the NCO Creed during their induction into the NCO Corps. Nearly every NCO's office or home has a copy hanging on a wall. Some have intricate etchings in metal on a wooden plaque, or printed in fine calligraphy. But a quick glance at any copy of the NCO Creed and you will see no author's name at the bottom. The origin of the NCO Creed is a story of its own. In 1973, the Army (and the noncommissioned officer corps) was in turmoil. Of the post-Vietnam developments in American military policy, the most influential in shaping the Army was the advent of the Modern Volunteer Army. With the inception of the Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course, many young sergeants were not the skilled trainers of the past and were only trained to perform a specific job; squad leaders in Vietnam. The noncommissioned officer system was under development and the army was rewriting its Field Manual 22-100, Leadership, to set a road map for leaders to follow. Of those working on the challenges at hand, one of the only NCO-pure instructional departments at the U.S Army Infantry School (USAIS) at Fort Benning, Georgia, GA was the NCO Subcommittee of the Command and Leadership Committee in the Leadership Department. Besides training soldiers at the Noncommissioned Officers Academy, these NCOs also developed instructional material and worked as part of the team developing model leadership programs of instruction. During one brainstorming session, SFC Earle Brigham recalls writing three letters on a plain white sheet of paper... N-C-O. From those three letters they began to build the NCO Creed. The idea behind developing a creed was to give noncommissioned officers a "yardstick by which to measure themselves." When it was ultimately approved, the NCO Creed was printed on the inside cover of the special texts issued to students attending the NCO courses at Fort Benning, beginning in 1974. Though the NCO Creed was submitted higher for approval and distribution Army-wide, it was not formalized by an official army publication until 11 years later.

Though it has been rewritten in different ways, the NCO Creed still begins its paragraphs with those three letters: N-C-O. It continues to guide and reinforce the values of each new generation of noncommissioned officers.
Though it has been rewritten in different ways, the NCO Creed still begins its paragraphs with those three letters: N-C-O. It continues to guide and reinforce the values of each new generation of noncommissioned officers. The earliest mention of the Creed in official and unofficial publications seemed to be in the year 1989, but the Creed is older than that. The problem centered on "which Creed?" As Arms mentions in his article, "In the early 1980's I first started seeing NCO Creeds produced by various commands. Though similar in nature, they differed in detail."5 Research had also turned up different versions of the Creed. A reprint of the Sergeants Book, prepared in 1982 by then 3rd Armored Division Sergeant Major, CSM Robert Haga, discusses the Creed. In his timeless book, he expressed his "written talk" to the noncommissioned officers within his Division. On the last page, barely readable, is a small copy of the familiar "Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer."6 Also, on the inside back cover. was the "United States Army Noncommissioned Officer Creed," which was an oath that a noncommissioned officer would repeat or sign. Obviously multiple Creeds were used. While researching information about NCO responsibilities in TC 22-6, The Noncommissioned Officer Guide, there is a reference to the 1989 "NCO Leader Development Task Force," which resulted in the publishing of that Training Circular. It stated that "Drawing heavily from the Professional Army Ethic the NCO CREED (emphasis added), and the Oath of Enlistment, the Task Force identified 14 attitudes common to all effective NCO leaders.The Creed has

existed in different versions for a number of years. Long into their careers, sergeants remember reciting the NCO Creed during their induction into the NCO Corps. Nearly every NCO's office or home has a copy hanging on a wall. Some have intricate etchings in metal on a wooden plaque, or printed

in fine calligraphy. But a quick glance at any copy of the NCO Creed and you will see no author's name at the bottom. The origin of the NCO Creed is a story of its own. In 1973, the Army (and the noncommissioned officer corps) was in turmoil. Of the post-Vietnam developments in American military policy, the most influential in shaping the Army was the advent of the Modern Volunteer Army. With the inception of the Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course, many young sergeants were not the skilled trainers of the past and were only trained to perform a specific job; squad leaders in Vietnam. The noncommissioned officer system was under development and the army was rewriting its Field Manual 22-100, Leadership, to set a road map for leaders to follow. Of those working on the challenges at hand, one of the only NCO-pure instructional departments at the U.S Army Infantry School (USAIS) at Fort Benning, Georgia, GA was the NCO Subcommittee of the Command and Leadership Committee in the Leadership Department. Besides training soldiers at the Noncommissioned Officers Academy, these NCOs also developed instructional material and worked as part of the team developing model leadership programs of instruction. During one brainstorming session, SFC Earle Brigham recalls writing three letters on a plain white sheet of paper... N-C-O. From those three letters they began to build the NCO Creed. The idea behind developing a creed was to give noncommissioned officers a "yardstick by which to measure themselves." When it was ultimately approved, the NCO Creed was printed on the inside cover of the special texts issued to students attending the NCO courses at Fort Benning, beginning in 1974. Though the NCO Creed was submitted higher for approval and distribution Army-wide, it was not formalized by an official army publication until 11 years later. Though it has been rewritten in different ways, the NCO Creed still begins its paragraphs with those three letters: N-C-O. It continues to guide and reinforce the values of each new generation of noncommissioned officers.
The Task Force, directed by LTG John S. Crosby, had as its mission the job of developing "a strategy and actionplan for improving the Army's NCO leader development system...."8 The Task Force was comprised of the Director, the Commandant of the Sergeants Major Academy (Executive Agent), two field grade officers, 14 senior noncommissioned officers, and three civilian specialists. The Task Force began in January 1989 and ran until early June 1989. Their 18

recommendations included aligning the noncommissioned officer education system with promotions, combining two similar courses into one to be called "Battle Staff. The Creed has existed in different versions for a number of

years. Long into their careers, sergeants remember reciting the NCO Creed during their induction into the NCO Corps. Nearly every NCO's office or home has a copy hanging on a wall. Some have intricate etchings in metal on a wooden plaque, or printed in fine calligraphy. But a quick glance at any copy of the NCO Creed and you will see no author's name at the bottom. The origin of the NCO Creed is a story of its own. In 1973, the Army (and the noncommissioned officer corps) was in turmoil. Of the post-Vietnam developments in American military policy, the most influential in shaping the Army was the advent of the Modern Volunteer Army. With the inception of the Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course, many young sergeants were not the skilled trainers of the past and were only trained to perform a specific job; squad leaders in Vietnam. The noncommissioned officer system was under development and the army was rewriting its Field Manual 22-100, Leadership, to set a road map for leaders to follow. Of those working on the challenges at hand, one of the only NCO-pure instructional departments at the U.S Army Infantry School (USAIS) at Fort Benning, Georgia, GA was the NCO Subcommittee of the Command and Leadership Committee in the Leadership Department. Besides training soldiers at the Noncommissioned Officers Academy, these NCOs also developed instructional material and worked as part of the team developing model leadership programs of instruction. During one brainstorming session, SFC Earle Brigham recalls writing three letters on a plain white sheet of paper... N-C-O. From those three letters they began to build the NCO Creed. The idea behind developing a creed was to give noncommissioned officers a "yardstick by which to measure themselves." When it was ultimately approved, the NCO Creed was printed on the inside cover of the special texts issued to students attending the NCO courses at Fort Benning, beginning in 1974. Though the NCO Creed was submitted higher for approval and distribution Army-wide, it was not formalized by an official army publication until 11 years later. Though it has been rewritten in different ways, the NCO Creed still begins its paragraphs with those three letters: N-C-O. It continues to guide and reinforce the values of each new generation of noncommissioned officers.No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a

leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as The Backbone of the Army. I am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the Military Service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety. Competence is my watchword. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mindaccomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers. I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient. I am aware of my role as a Noncommissioned Officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.

Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow

my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, leaders!

Self-confidence, the abilities to listen and communicate, and a view of the larger picture are all skills required of a Noncommissioned Officer (NCO). The mission of a NCO is to fulfill what we call the backbone of the Army. We are individuals who can hear and understand a mission and then take the necessary steps to make it happen. It is an honor to serve as an NCO because I take pride in leading my Soldiers to success. I take pride in contributing to the wider goals of my unit by helping other people succeed. These tasks require me to invest in individual Soldiers, to lead a group of people by instruction and example, and to properly represent the missions and morals of the Army. As an NCO, I must know and lead each Soldier under my command. I make it clear that they all must succeed, and I do what is necessary to ensure that each of them is a strong, able part of our group. This requires me to pay attention to their strengths and weaknesses. I work with them to ensure that they are able to physically perform their duties, and I also ensure that they understand how to be a Soldier. Since the Soldiers under my command are future non commissioned officers, they experience the importance of knowledge and ability to overcome problems. As their NCO, it is my duty to help each of them overcome their fears and apply their knowledge in every exercise. An NCO must ensure that each Soldier understands the importance of training. As I pay attention to every Soldier under my command, I also understand that the job of an NCO is to create a strong unit of Soldiers. If I am their leader, I lead them as individuals and as an entire team. My job as an NCO is to spend time every day ensuring that my team is ready to come across any problems that shall face them throughout the day. I push them beyond what they think they can do. An NCO also must lead a team in such a way that commands respect and builds trust. If I am going to get the job done and fulfill orders every day. The Creed has existed in different versions for a number of years.

Long into their careers, sergeants remember reciting the NCO Creed during their induction into the NCO Corps. Nearly every NCO's office or home has a copy hanging on a wall. Some have intricate etchings in metal on a wooden plaque, or printed in fine calligraphy. But a quick glance at any copy of the NCO Creed and you will see no author's name at the bottom. The origin of the NCO Creed is a story of its own. In 1973, the Army (and the noncommissioned officer corps) was in turmoil. Of the post-Vietnam developments in American military policy, the most influential in shaping the Army was the advent of the Modern Volunteer Army. With the inception of the Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course, many young sergeants were not the skilled trainers of the past

and were only trained to perform a specific job; squad leaders in Vietnam. The noncommissioned officer system was under development and the army was rewriting its Field Manual 22-100, Leadership, to set a road map for leaders to follow. Of those working on the challenges at hand, one of the only NCO-pure instructional departments at the U.S Army Infantry School (USAIS) at Fort Benning, Georgia, GA was the NCO Subcommittee of the Command and Leadership Committee in the Leadership Department. Besides training soldiers at the Noncommissioned Officers Academy, these NCOs also developed instructional material and worked as part of the team developing model leadership programs of instruction. During one brainstorming session, SFC Earle Brigham recalls writing three letters on a plain white sheet of paper... N-C-O. From those three letters they began to build the NCO Creed. The idea behind developing a creed was to give noncommissioned officers a "yardstick by which to measure themselves." When it was ultimately approved, the NCO Creed was printed on the inside cover of the special texts issued to students attending the NCO courses at Fort Benning, beginning in 1974. Though the NCO Creed was submitted higher for approval and distribution Army-wide, it was not formalized by an official army publication until 11 years later. Though it has been rewritten in different ways, the NCO Creed still begins its paragraphs with those three letters: N-C-O. It continues to guide and reinforce the values of each new generation of noncommissioned officers.